At NH, we normally don’t write about games and such, but we feel that issues like the one with Half-Life 2 is worth writing something about, since it is something we all feel really sorry about.

As you might have seen, we wrote about that the source code had been stolen and leaked and that Vivendi postponed the release date for Half-Life 2 to April 2004 yesterday morning. Quite some things has happened since then and probably a lot of you have read it before, but we still want to give you a little more detailed briefing about the current situation.

Well, it all started with suspicious attacks and hacked e-mail accounts around mid-September. And then, as Gabe from Valve Software said, somebody made a copy of the HL2 source tree around the 19th of September.
Now, two weeks later, not much more happened. Until somebody suddenly released the stolen goods to the audience in IRC networks, peer-to-peer networks, and alike, and this was the event that made this entire situation really nasty.
Rumors started, major media wrote articles and it all concluded that the hacker only got a third of the source code and Vivendi decided to postpone the release to April 2004, however it’s rumored that the latter is neither confirmed by Vivendi itselve nor Valve. Possibly, that could be yet another rumor. Valve has refused to comment this presently unofficiall delay announcement.

So, what have happened? Apparently, Valve’s statement that “only 1/3 of the source code has been stolen” was false. Yesterday, a pre-release of the game hit the underground scene (IRC network, peer-to-peer etc). Briefly, a playable version of the game has been stolen and subsequently released for the audience. The primary question now is: why did Valve say only a third of the source code got stolen, and why would a hacker leave the rest? It doesn’t make sense. It seems like this playable version includes a lot of maps, textures, and more, and as far as we know this stuff isn’t included in the source code. Valve has yet to comment the release of the pre-release.

Anyway, as if this wasn’t enough, the hacker today released an update for the pre-release. It seems like he got hold of more bits and bytes than anyone had thought. We quote from what seemingly is information from the hacker himself:

“Well, I forgot to update you with the freshest stuff from Valvesoftware.”
“To all those saying HL2 was delayed because of the hacking action, ill just remind you that what was leaked is what Valve has, nothing more and nothing less, so its pretty good to understand it wasnt finished yet.
Also I’d like to point out the E3 was one big fake by Valve. Ever tried to kill that soldier in physicstown ? Notice the door will still get kicked ? No scripted sequences ?
To everyone saying this is no Beta: I’d like to point out that THIS is what you wanted Valve to release on 9/30/03, theres no such thing as a much better release in Valves network!
To Valve: I suggest you stop lying to your customers about how much was stolen/compromised, or I’ll have to release everything just to prove my point. And you know what you got, as I do. – Anonymous leaker”

Hopefully, a comment from Valve will come in short. Both a stated opinion about this pre-release issue but also, and perhaps most importantly for us customers, a more accurate date for the upcoming release of the most wanted game ever.

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